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Lex Sportiva and Lex Ludica: the Court Of Arbitration for Sport’s Jurisprudence

Author:

Ken Foster

formerly University of Warwick
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Abstract

What does the jurisprudence of the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) reveal about international sports law? It is claimed that CAS applies lex sportiva; distinct universal legal principles of sports law. I argue that lex sportiva is an imprecise term covering different concepts.

The awards of CAS are studied and it is argued that five different legal principles are employed: a lex ludica, good governance, procedural fairness, harmonisation of standards between international sporting federations and equitable treatment. These principles are then explained and illustrated by reference to arbitration awards of CAS. It is concluded from this case law that CAS has several functions and that its work could fit various models of adjudication. Each of these functions corresponds to a different legal model of its purpose and in turn to one of the five jurisprudential principles explained in the article.

CAS needs to recognise that it has different functions. The danger is that it will be seen solely as part of the private regulatory power of international sporting federations. The imposition of mandatory arbitration by sporting federations may then appear to be a method of avoiding proper legal processes and standards.
How to Cite: Foster, K. (2005). Lex Sportiva and Lex Ludica: the Court Of Arbitration for Sport’s Jurisprudence. The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, 3(2), 2. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/eslj.112
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Published on 21 Dec 2005.
Peer Reviewed

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